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Joan sallis answers your questions

We cannot buy in the package of training which is on offer locally because our head says there is no longer any special allowance for governor training. We used to be able to buy the basic programme and still have a small amount left for purchasing the occasional reference book or sending a member on a special course.

This is a disgraceful misinterpretation which I hope is an innocent one. Governors' organisations have tried hard to convince the Department for Education and Employment that the new arrangements for Grants for Education, Support and Training (GEST), by not earmarking some of the school effectiveness grant (as it is now called) for governor training, and laying down that it is lost if not spent for that purpose, will jeopardise training provision, but so far to no avail. I am glad to have this opportunity to say that the GEST funding is intended to cover governor training and that the DFEE has even explicitly stated that governors should share the decision about how the whole of the school effectiveness grant is spent.

When deciding whether a meeting is quorate, what is the basic number to work on?

Ordinary quorum issues (one third) are calculated from the total number on the governing body, including any vacant seats. On special quorum matters (eg co-options, delegation to committees, going to ballot for grant-maintained status) the required two-thirds is calculated from the actual number of governors in post and eligible to vote, ie excluding vacancies. Co-optees are not eligible to vote on future co-options.

Questions for Joan Sallis should be sent to Agenda, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171-782 3200.

e-mail: letters@tes1.demon.co.uk

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